Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dry Camping and Fortuna De Oro RV Resort

Laura asked how dry camping went for us, and how we managed our tanks for that long. When we first started out RVing we overnighted a few times in Walmart parking lots. I was OK with it, but Craig said he would prefer to go to RV parks and have full hookups. Basically I am in charge of choosing where we stay, so in respect for Craig's wishes, I avoided Walmarts but slipped in a Casino parking lot from time to time.  We also stayed in state and regional parks that have power and water, but no sewer connections. We found that driving to the dump station when needed is no big deal. 

Last fall we dry camped for nine days with a group at the Albuquerque Ballonfest. We got accustomed to running our generator for a few hours each day, and being just a little careful with our water use. We did pay for a service that came to our site and pumped out our holding tanks and refilled our water (once to do both) during our stay.

So, we felt pretty well prepared to dry camp at Quartzsite. We came with empty holding tanks and full freshwater, fuel, and propane tanks. There was a dump station and fresh water fill station several  miles away, on the BLM land.  We went there once halfway thru our stay. We were not particularly frugal with our water. We did take fewer, shorter showers. I washed dishes every other day, and tried to use fewer dishes. Most evening meals were pot luck for which we used paper plates.  The only power compromise we had to make was to not use the microwave, and to run the generator when we used the coffee maker. We also had to have the inverter on when we wanted to watch TV or charge the computers and iPads.

So, all in all we I thought it went well and Craig said he would be willing to dry camp from time to time.

Or, so he said!

Yesterday, as I was looking at or options for camping in Big Bend National Park later this month, I asked him which he would want to do: dry camp for $7.00 per night in a National Park campground, or pay $35.00 per night for full hook-ups at the commercial concession-run campground, nearby.

He chose the commercial full hook ups.  I have not yet made reservations.

[From Craig]  I have no head for money.  That's one of the things that for which I rely on Merikay.  When I'm offered the choice between less work and more convenience vs. less money, I'll choose the former as long as the money delta seems reasonable.  Which brings us back to the question what is reasonable...

Onto another subject. I promised several people I would write about the Fortuna De Oro RV Resort in Yuma. Like many others, when we were browsing the Big Tent, we picked up a coupon for free three nights.  

I am happy to say the offer is legitimate with no strings attached, and no sales pitch to listen to. The resort is enormous! The map show over 1250 sites. It is not as fancy as some of the snowbird parks, but the spaces were large, the laundry was clean, and it looked like there were many activities available. I did not make it to either of the pools, but I heard they were nice. Their regular daily rate is $39.  There were a half-dozen others checking in when we arrived, and they all had coupons. One lady told me she didn't have one and they gave her one at the desk. We all like a free sample, and this was the best. We will keep this resort in mind for future stays in Yuma. 

We are now on our way to Tucson. I'm writing this as Craig drives down I-8.

Since I had no pictures to share today, I'm ending with a coloring page:

Picture from Mandelas Coloring Book bought at Michael's.
Birds brown feathers, beaks and legs colored with Sharpie Fine Point pens
all the rest done with PRISMACOLOR Pencils


  1. Nice write up Merikay, enjoy your trip east. Looking forward to hearing about Big Bend area.

  2. Glad the two of you were able to embrace the boondocking experience even for a sort them .. We have friends who also have a coupon for the free three night stay.. I will be sure to let her know what you thought of it. Safe travels to Tuscon!!

  3. Love your colorings! When we went to Big Bend, we stayed at Stillwell Ranch at the east end it the park.... That was nice! Then later we did go to Study Butte RV and Motel at the west end. Not as nice. Cottonwood campground in the park is nice if you can get in, dry camping there. We loved it!

  4. We always enjoy the desert dry camping, it can be very enjoyable.
    Wewill be checking out that resort in March as we head back east.

  5. It was great seeing you both at the Bloggerfest. Sorry we missed you at Fortuna. We've been quite busy lately, and were gone quite a bit, so if you came looking for us we may not have been home. We rode our bikes around on Wednesday looking for you, but only saw one Alpha that might have been you, and the car was gone. Safe travels. Big Bend is on my bucket list, so I'll be interested to read about your adventures there.

  6. A resort that large almost seems like its own town to me.

  7. thanks for the dry camping info. I haven't been able to talk Carm into it yet, but we don't have a generators so that's a limiting factor. Just getting the 3 slides in and out requires a bit of juice, although I don't know how much. You two seem to have it all figured out!

  8. We didn't get a coupon, but I am glad to hear it worked out well for you. I love the coloring pages you have been showing. You are a very talented lady.

  9. wonderful coloring book - glad you came as we all enjoyed your company

  10. Merikay - I am trying to find how to order some of your wonderful animal heads. I have a polar bear that you made and am hoping to hear that you are still doing them. MJW

  11. Merikay - Are you still making those wonderful faux animal heads? I have one of your polar bears and am hoping to hear that you still make them. If so, how do I contact you? MJW

    1. Hello! Good to hear from someone who has one of my animals. When we decided to go full time and live in our RV while traveling around the country, I decided to also retire from making the animal heads. It all required lots of room for supple and for creation. In the couple of years we have been on the road, I have heard from several of my former customers, and it always warms my heart! Now I am finding time to play with simpler materials and do things just for myself.

    2. Sounds like you're off to a new adventure. I love my polar bear head and glad to have one of your creations. If you ever choose to go back into selling, I hope to be a customer. All the best!


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